Hollywood has long clung to an idea that movies about minorities are not profitable. “Sure, we’d like to make movies that challenge the status quo,” the line goes, “but those movies just don’t sell.” And before Black Panther was released earlier this year, some were still asking, how successful will a superhero movie, about an imaginary African country, with a primarily black cast be?
But the answer to that, of course, has been: hahahaha!
Because not only did Black Panther make $192 million on its opening weekend, but its North American profits just surpassed those of box-office behemoth Titanic. Yes, the ship has finally sunk, the Titanic has met its iceberg, etc. etc. After raking in somewhere around $660 million, Black Panther is the third-highest grossing film of all time in North America, knocking the big boat down to number four.
— CNN International (@cnni) April 10, 2018
But there are still two films that have out-earned Panther in the North American box office. Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens are both ahead by about $100 million. Whether Black Panther can continue to break records depends on people’s commitment to going out to theatres to catch the film for a second or third time—a tall order in 2018, when a night in with Netflix is most people’s preferred mode of entertainment.
— What's Trending (@WhatsTrending) February 20, 2018
Still, with the sort of epic visuals that are best seen on the big screen (the entirety of Michael B. Jordan included), it’s not over for Black Panther yet. This is the film that had kids actually stacking themselves inside a trenchcoat to get in. While the film industry’s future is unclear, Black Panther has come to send a message: anything can happen.
It’s a superhero movie in every sense of the word.